This week we will study the life of Josiah, the last Godly king of Judah. Our text will be 2 Chronicles 34:1-28, 35:1-27, and 2 Kings 23:25-27.
Josiah was the son of King Amon, whom the people made king of Judah after Amon’s assassination (639 B.C.). Josiah’s reign began when he was only eight years old and lasted 31 years, three decades of peace, prosperity, and reform. King Josiah devoted himself to pleasing God and reinstituting Israel’s observance of the Mosaic Law. The Bible focuses almost exclusively on Josiah’s spiritual reforms, which climaxes in the eighteenth year of his reign with the discovery of the Book of the Law (621 B.C.)
The death of Josiah (20-25)
“After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.”
The consequence of Judah’s sin (2 Kings 23:26-27)
“Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”
After all of Josiah’s reforms, return to temple worship, and obedience to the Book of the Law, God judged Judah because of the sin of Manasseh. That is why each of us must walk in obedience with the Lord. Our walk affects others.
I hope this study has challenged us to think about what we do and how we do it.
Josiah obeyed God’s word
Josiah fails to heed God’s warning
Israel judged because of Manasseh
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001